As they continue to weigh a variety of possible pitching additions, the Yankees are taking a look at Rangers lefty Mike Minor, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link). But that interest comes with a few complications.
The Yanks are one of ten teams to which Minor can block a swap pursuant to his contract, per Rosenthal. Minor’s willingness to waive his rights isn’t known, but he certainly doesn’t sound particularly anxious to leave town.
Minor’s continued strong work makes his contract rights quite appealing. He’s earning just $9.5M this year and next, making the 31-year-old a cost-efficient target. Pinching pennies isn’t strictly necessary for the Yankees, but the organization is as aware of value concepts as any and has an obvious desire to avoid unnecessary luxury tax complications (now and in the future).
It’s not surprising, then, that the Bronx Bombers have sent notable front-office member Tim Naehring out to see Minor’s past two outings. That could be interpreted as a tell, though Rosenthal rightly points out that Naehring and the team’s other trusted evaluators have also put in plenty of time watching other arms as well.
It is still tough to guess just what direction the Yankees will take. If Luis Severino is able to make it back, even if not in a full-blown starter’s capacity, the club will have enviable depth with James Paxton and Domingo German featuring as capable postseason starters and a variety of other multi-inning hurlers on hand. It could certainly stand to add a marquee arm to front the staff, but it’s fair to wonder if that’s really what Minor is. There’s unquestionably a rotation need in 2020 as well, but perhaps that shouldn’t be the priority right now. The price for Minor will be steep — in addition to other demand, the Rangers will value his rights for next season — and there is an argument to be made that the Yanks ought instead to utilize their resources on other targets, either posting less in prospect value for a rental hurler or somehow concocting a bigger move for a truly top-shelf starter.